Intel’s 8-core i9 9900K and i7 9700K are reportedly soldered

Intel 9th Generation i9 9900K, i7 9700K and i5 9600K specifications leak

Intel’s 8-core i9 9900K and i7 9700K are reportedly soldered

Several reports have started to circulate regarding the design and overclockability of Intel’s upcoming 8-core Coffee Lake-S series processors, with sites like claiming that Intel’s 8-core flagship products will be soldered. 

Beyond that, Intel’s i9 9900K is claimed to offer clock speeds of up to 5GHz on multiple processing cores, matching current rumours which give the desktop-grade i9 turbo clock speeds of up to 5GHz on two CPU cores (link). 

Higher core clock speeds and core counts mean one thing; higher thermals loads, especially while overclocking. The move to eight cores seems to have made Intel concerned about thermals, which combined with the soldered nature of AMD’s competing Ryzen processors gives the company more than enough reason to start using solder again on their high-end SKUs. 

On mainstream CPU sockets, Intel has not released a soldered processor since the release of their Sandy Bridge architecture, instead, using a inferior thermal compound as a thermal interface material on Ivy Bridge or newer architectures. This change lowers the cost of Intel’s bill of materials and removes the risks involved with CPU soldering, something with Intel deemed worth the thermal consequences, given the feature’s lack of usefulness to most end users outside of overclocking.    

At this time, Intel has not confirmed whether or not their upcoming i7 9700K or i9 9900K are soldered, though the move would be hugely beneficial for users of these high-end SKUs.

Intel’s use of unsoldered processors has been a common complaint amongst enthusiasts for several years, creating a micro-industry within the PC market where users develop tools and thermal interface materials that are designed to offer better thermal results by replacing Intel’s stock thermal solution. 

Intel's 8-core i9 9900K and i7 9700K are reportedly soldered

(Image from Roman “der8auer” Hartung)

If Intel solders their upcoming 8-core i7 and i9 series processors, it seems unlikely that Intel will do the same with their 6-core or lower counterparts, as these SKUs are merely refreshes of the company’s existing Coffee Lake offerings. Intel is unlikely to change the manufacturing process of chips that are, pretty much, already in production, making the change from 8th gen – 9th gen likely to be a mere clock speed bump and nothing more for i5 or lower SKUs.  

A move back to soldered processors would be a hugely positive move for Intel, at least for the enthusiast community, who desire lower thermals and higher overclocking headroom. Silence freaks will also benefit from the change, as lower thermals will allow users to run their system fans slower, making PCs quieter in the process. 

You can join the discussion on Intel’s 8-core i9 9900K and i7 9700K reportedly being soldered on the OC3D Forums. 

Special Thanks to FTLN for finding us this information.